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Survival matching should be used to allocate donated kidneys to transplant recipients
Date:3/17/2011

Ann Arbor, Mich. Providing kidney transplants to patients with the best probability of longer survival would reduce repeat transplant operations and improve life span after kidney transplant, says a U-M researcher in a commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine March 16.

Alan B. Leichtman, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine at U-M and his co-authors endorsed new concepts designed to improve kidney allocation. These concepts were circulated in February by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The OPTN is the federal contract that oversees solid organ recovery and allocation in the United States.

"We strongly support the concept of rank ordering donated kidneys based upon their potential post-transplant survival, and matching that survival to that of waitlisted kidney transplant candidates," says Leichtman, the commentary's lead author.

"The current deceased donor kidney allocation system allows distribution of kidneys with very short potential survival to candidates with long expected survival. Candidates with long potential lifetimes that received kidneys with short expected survival have twice the repeated transplantation rate than similar recipients who received organs with a longer expected survival rate."

The current U.S. deceased donor kidney allocation system relies primarily upon how long a candidate has been waiting for an organ. However, systems for liver and heart transplantation allocation are based upon candidate medical urgency. The lung allocation system allocates organs based upon a mixture of medical urgency and expected one-year post-transplant survival.

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network has released for public comment three proposed concepts for deceased donor kidney allocation.

  1. Using a Kidney Donor Profile Index to rank deceased donor kidneys according to the length of time that the kidney would be expected to function in an average kidney transplant recip
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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-389-5381
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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